“I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world,” exclaimed Mayor Michael Bloomberg after successfully evicting OWS, at least for the winter. 84-year old Dorli Rainey found out what it's like to demonstrate against corruption, the photo of her after she was pepper-sprayed becoming iconic:
Incoming confirmation of LAPD infiltration of Occupy Los Angeles campers. The cops weren't the only infiltrators and the people they used to support their investigation were rather obvious when they would try an engage others in bizarre conversations on topics related to violence. It appeared that often these people would arrive for no other reason that to do something illegal directly in front of surveillance cameras conspicuously mounted around the building.
"'We had reports that there were individuals advocating violence against police and taking steps to commit violence,' the senior LAPD source said. 'In that vein we investigated that. What we didn't do was spy or monitor or interact with those engaged with First Amendment activities.'"
But with an open encampment, all of the characters including the cops and Homeland Security reps were in place, and in fact there were several people who identified themselves as “media team” members who mostly hung around the areas where computers and electronics turned up missing. Anyone could join, so the steady flow of thieves, provocateurs, “undercover” cops, and the representatives of conservative groups that decided it would be fun to disrupt whatever processes they could, were and continue to be obstacles to the growth and progress of the movement.
National Defense Authorization Act for 2012—Section 1031
The concept of indefinite detention without charges has always been the foundation, the starting point, for democratic societies based on rule of law and due process. Other rights, like confronting an accuser, speedy trial, a jury of peers, and so on, are all based on the premise of habeas corpus. Up until now it seemed to be the most inviolable based on precedent which goes back many centuries. This fact alone make the secrecy involved with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act all the more suspect.
There are so many unanswered questions, it is difficult to find a place to start. Why was this legislation not given the media attention something of this magnitude deserved considering the implications of its passage? What the hell is the point of having a constitution in the first place, if the legislature is going to disregard it as flagrantly as they have done with this legislation and the Patriot Act in 2001, (especially when the meetings take place secretly in violation of prevailing law?)
There is no way these acts of the Congress are in any way consistent with the Constitution of the United States. Have they ever read the document and if so how can this legislation be consistent with any interpretation of what it actually says regarding basic constitutional principles in clear and simple language? And how it it that every safeguard intended to prevent this sort of rogue behavior has been circumvented to allow it to sneak through without the consent of the governed?
Keith Olberman discussed it earlier this week:
Who is that is supposed to be a threat to America? Who has violated their oath to uphold the Constitution?
“Nonsensical and unconstitutional . . . “
This caused several dozen Los Angeles protesters to descend on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Saturday which turned into a march on the offices of CNN:
The scheduled ports “shutdown” as organized call it has been the topic of several news articles that convey some confusion on the part of the parties involved. It has been noted that according to the minutes recorded of the General Assembly that took up the issue, the action is officially endorsed by the Occupy LA G.A. However, it remains to be seen whether any of those who endorsed it will actually participate or whether it was intended to offer moral support for the unions. The following article correctly points out that the event was organized and promoted by Occupy Oakland, but apparently they did not discuss it with the local longshoreman or their union leaders:
“The attempted shutdown will be part of a coordinated blockade of 11 West Coast ports from San Diego to Anchorage, Alaska, an effort conceived by Occupy Oakland to build on the success of the Nov. 2 general strike it led that closed the city's port for more than six hours.”
“'It’s presumptuous of them to say they’re shutting down our port in solidarity with us,” said Richard Mead, president of the Bay Area local ILWU affiliate, during an interview in his hiring hall office.”
And thankfully, there is occasionally an opportunity to return to the message of Occupy Wall Street and it is likely that when the weather permits, a recharged version of the movement will take up where it left off. If Treasury Secretary is right, the last line of the paragraph below won't be accurate when that occurs:
“I’m quite sure most of us are disgusted with the practices of many Wall Street corporations that required using our tax dollars to 'rescue' or bail them out. Then adding insult to injury, some of our tax dollars were used as huge bonuses going to the very same people whose performances were questionable at best. The examples of fraud committed by the huge mortgage corporations are nothing short of rampant. (Sadly, not a single person has been prosecuted so far.)”